How to Use Your Auction Insights Data to Differentiate Your Ads

By Brad


General, Google Ads Insights

There’s a lot of places where you can find inspiration on ad ideas to test. Before you create ad tests, it’s a good idea to understand your overall positioning in the auction and how you need to differentiate yourself from the competition.

It’s also worth noting that in many auctions, you will be competition for ad impressions with people who aren’t actually competitors. Understanding the difference between true competitors and impression competitors can help ensure you position your messages so your ads are attractive to the searchers that you want to click on your ad and also dissuade others from clicking on your ad.

For today’s’ information, we’ll dig into how we do this so that we’re not sharing any client data.

We first start by looking at the Auction Insights Data.

How to Find Auction Insights

Finding your auction insights data is easy, just go to your campaigns, and click over to auction insights.


If you have different campaigns by country, region, product lines, and so forth, then you may wish to walk through this exercise a few times to note the primary differences.

Examining Auction Insight Data

Auction insight data is comprised of a few primary columns:

  • The domain
  • Impression share: how often you are displayed
  • Average position
  • Overlap rate: how often you and a competitor show up in the same search results
  • Position above rate: How often an advertiser’s ad shows in a higher position than yours when both ads appear
  • Top of page rate: How often the ads are in the top of page position
  • Absolute top of page rate: How often the ads are in the number one position
  • Outranking share: How often your ad ranked above someone else’s ad


When we look at this data, we see that wordstream is our top impression competition. We have a higher impression share than they do, so we show in more total auctions. However, when they do show in the auction, their ad appears in higher positions. While we don’t know wordstream’s PPC account, it’s common in this scenario for someone to be bidding more than you are so while they show in higher positions, they are often budget capped or have lower quality scores, so they show less than you do (hence the lower impression share).

From an ad standpoint, this is where you need to start thinking about the competitors and how you make sure your ad stands out. This is a pretty easy exercise of just putting together a short line about each advertiser. For example, this is how we’d do this (without going into super detailed analysis).

Wordstream: Their offering is for much smaller accounts than Adalysis. In fact, we don’t want their typical customer. Therefore, we want to make sure people realize that our services are for mid to enterprise accounts and agencies and not small accounts.

SEMRush: This is a research tool. It’s a great tool and we use them a lot. We compete for impressions, but we’re not competing for services or clients. Many people use both Adalysis and SEMRush.

The next 3 companies are competitors at various levels, but their impression share is under 10%.  We partner with Acquisio, and some people use both of our services, so we’re not going to focus our ads around a few companies that rarely show up against our ads.

The last 2, Google and LinkedIn are ad distribution platforms and not actual competitors.

After examining this data, we don’t actually have a true competitor on our entire list that we need to worry about. However, we do want searchers to know the difference in our ads versus the other ads they are seeing on the search results. Therefore, we put together a list of things to remember while we are creating ads that will show up at the same time as these other impression competitors:

  • We’re for mid-sized to enterprise accounts and agencies to make sure people know the difference between Wordstream and ourselves.
  • We are for managing PPC accounts and pulling insights and not a research tool so people know the difference between us and SEMRush.
  • We want people to understand we’re not an advertising distribution platform like Google, but that you can manage your Google Ads account on our platform
  • Set the fact that we’re the advertising leader in this space for account management of mid-sized to enterprise companies, so watch the impression share of some potential competitors, but address our strengths with the fact we’ve won awards for 4 straight years and not worry about their ad positioning

Now that we have our bullet points, our next focus would be to start thinking about what we want to test, ensure we write great CTAs, and then put a testing plan into place.

The auction insight report and a little bit of research is a great way to determine your impression competitors from your actual competitors to make sure searchers know what you offer, how you are different from the other companies, and also make sure you are only attracting the correct types of clicks.

If you’re still looking for the types of tests to run, we generally suggest starting with Multi-ad group testing for insights before moving to single ad group testing to find your best message. You can learn exactly how to test all of these ads with our handy ad testing guide.

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One Comment

  • Otto

    Great article.
    Thanks a lot for this content.
    Some times is difficult to know what are our competitors doing.

  • Leave a comment

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